(Many people wonder what is the difference between Allah and God, especially from the Qur’anic perspective. This article tries to explain some of the main distinctions that the Qur’an makes between these two terms and supports them with Qur’anic verses. It also compares them with the concept of God in other religions, such as Christianity and Judaism, and gives some examples of how they differ.)

The end of the dispute about the name of the Creator would be by accepting the name He himself chose and gives us, through his revelations and Prophets. When human minds interfere with divine messages, they deviate from the right understanding. That is what happened to the people and groups that were before the Last message from the Lord was revealed. Different religions address their God with different names and they attribute human characteristics to God which is not suitable for His Majesty.  When you compare the true name of God with fake and manmade names, the real identity of the Lord will outshine all the rest of the identification. Truth and falsehood can never be the same, announces the Qur’an,

Qadtabayyana rushdu minal gayyi “Truth stands out clear from falsehood.” [Surah Al Baqarah: 256]

Allah is the proper name of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, according to the Qur’an. The word Ilah denotes deity, and it refers to whom people worship. Adding Al to Ilah makes the word Allah, who is the real God, as the Qur’an states about only God,

Ilahukum ilahun wahid (your Ilah (god) is one God).” [Surah Kahf:100]

Allah is a unique and indivisible name that belongs only to Him. It is made up of Al + Ilah = The God. The term God, on the other hand, can be used in various ways and can be modified by adding prefixes or suffixes. Such a word can be given a gender as well. For example, you can have a goddess, a godfather or a godmother. Whereas, the Qur’an says,

Come join the Al Jumuah family, and help spread the message of Islam to everyone.

"Every single penny that we raise will be fully invested in creating more content to spread the message of Islam."

Click here to support

“Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.” [Surah al Ikhlas:1-4]

In Christianity and Judaism, God is also the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, but He is not called by the name Allah. Instead, He is referred to by different names, such as Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, Adonai, etc. Some of these names have meanings that are similar to Allah, such as “the Lord” or “the Almighty”, but they are not exclusive to Him; rather, they are incomplete. They have also been used in the Bible for angels, kings, judges and even idols, who are sometimes called “god” or “lord”. An example of this is when Moses said to Pharaoh, “Thus, says the Lord (Yahweh), the God (Elohim) of Israel: ‘Let my people go…’” [Exodus 5:1]

Allah Does Not Have a Gender

Another difference is that Allah does not have a gender, a wife or any offspring. He is neither born, nor will He die. He is beyond any human or physical attributes. The term God, however, can imply a gender or a relation. For example, some religions believe that God has a son or a daughter, or that He is male or female. This is contrary to the Qur’anic teachings that Allah has no spouse. The Qur’an says,

“He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” [Surah Hashr:24]

Unique or like Humans?

In Christianity and Judaism, God is also believed to be One and Unique, but He is also seen as having a gender or a relation. For example, in Christianity, God is believed to be a Trinity of three people: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son is Jesus Christ, who is considered to be God incarnate and born of a virgin mother. The Holy Spirit is also considered to be God and a person who guides and inspires believers. In Judaism, God is believed to be male and sometimes referred to as “the Father or “the King”. He also has a special relationship with Israel, as His chosen people. An example of this is in Bible, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten Son…” [John 3:16]

Allah Does Not Have Any Equal or Partner in His Dominion and Authority

Allah is the Most High and the Most Powerful. He has no rivals or competitors. The term God, however, can have a plural form, such as gods. Some people believe that there are many gods who share power and control over the universe. This is also against the Qur’anic doctrine of Tawheed (monotheism), and it refers to the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah. The Qur’an says,

“Say: If there were any other gods beside Him, as they claim, they would have tried to overthrow the Possessor of the throne.” [Surah Al-Isra: 42]

In Christianity and Judaism, though God is also believed to be the Most High and the Most Powerful, He is not alone in His dominion and authority. For example, in Christianity, God shares His glory and power with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity. They are co-equal and co-eternal with each other. As the New Testament of the Bible states,  “For there are three, that bare record in the heaven, The Father, The Word and The Holy Ghost and these three are one.” [1 John 5: 7]

Allah Does Not Get Tired

The management and the administration of the Universe require continuous supervision and the caretaker does not require a holiday like we humans need. That is what the Qur’an says about Allah,

We have created the heavens and the earth and everything in between them in six days and nothing of fatigue touched us.” [Surah Qaf: 38]

“His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them.” [Surah Baqarah: 255]

The same incident is mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible but with a difference, “For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them AND HE RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY.” [Exodus 20:11]

Thus when ‘ungodly’ attributes are imposed upon God there erupts a volcano of confusion among the worshippers and many even end up as atheists.

Allah is Powerful Over Everything

A short comparison about a common incident mentioned differently in the Bible and the Qur’an, distinguishes Allah’s display of His power. Let us look at when the news is given to Mary, who was unwed at the time and had never been touched by a man, the birth of a child, which caused a shock to her. The Bible says, “The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” [New International Version Bible, Luke 1 – 35]

The same incident is also mentioned in the Qur’an, but without attributing any human quality to Allah. The Qur’an states,

“She [Mary] said, ‘My Lord! How can I have a child when no man has ever touched me?’ He said, ‘So will it be. Allah creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He simply tells it, ‘Be!’ And it is!.” [Surah Ale Imran: 47]

Allah Never Makes a Mistake

To err is human whereas Allah never even errs. His decisions are perfect and recorded.

 “My Lord has the knowledge and He has it all in record. My Lord does not err or forget.” [Surah Taha:52]

However, the Bible has a different concept which records in two places about God realizing his mistake and then regretting it. “And the Lord regretted making human beings on the earth and his heart regretted.”[Genesis 6:6] The second example is, “I regret that I have made Saul, a king, for he has turned away from following me.” [1 Samuel, 15:11]

These are some of the main differences between Allah and God from the Qur’anic perspective. God is an incomplete word for Almighty whereas Allah remains without any defect or being playable. Allah says,

“This Qur’an is a sufficient message for humanity so that they may take it as a warning and know that there is only One God, and so that people of the reason may be mindful.” [Surah Ibrahim: 52]

Avatar photo

Nisaar Nadiadwala

Previously a visiting university faculty member in both Malaysia and Tanzania, Nisaar Nadiadwala is presently based in the UAE as a trainer in Public Speaking and Communication Skills. As a consultant and a coach in the field of Public Speaking, panel discussions, news debates, and in anchoring Radio-TV-Podcast shows, he has helped people to build their careers through polishing their skills in making presentations. Besides being an award-winning speech maker, he has received the honorable title of Top Writer on Quora in 2018 and continues to retain that position: https://www.quora.com/search?q=Nisaar+Nadiadwala In regard to his socio-religious contributions, Nisaar focuses on family issues from an Islamic perspective, trying to cover every segment of the family. His special attention remains the tarbiyah of teenagers, for which he is invited to many Islamic Schools as a consultant and as a speaker on the teenage period of life. He relates his work to the grooming of adolescents, motivating them to adopt the Islamic way of life through his TV series, articles and workshops in community schools. His latest release is an E-book Teen's Deen - a collection of short stories for teenagers - published by www.themuslimfamily.net He has hosted his Pre-Marriage Preparatory Workshop in many cities of India and abroad. His book, I want to marry, but …, is the talk of the community in the desi crowd. Mr. Nadiadwala trains both online and in person through his course packages. He can be contacted at: Nisaar Nadiadwala [mnisaar@gmail.com].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.